Can Block continue district 4-1A romps?

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 31, 2003

So let’s figure this one out. Block squashes Tallulah 82-8 to open district 4-1A a couple of weeks ago.

Tallulah turns around and pummels Davidson 56-20 last Friday. Block travels to Davidson for its second district matchup of the season today at 7 p.m.

Any score predictions? Please no wagering.

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&uot;It’s tough to get kids up when you’ve got a game like this when the opponent you’re playing got beat by a team you beat pretty good,&uot; Bears head coach Chad Harkins said. &uot;They’re going to try and do this trick play and that trick play. If we give them an opportunity they can get up on us.&uot;

Those out there laughing, remember Block trailed Tallulah 8-7 before the Bears scored 75 unanswered to tuck the game away.

It was more of the same for Block (4-3, 1-0 4-1A) last Friday, as it went out of district to smother Lakeview 54-0.

All of you counting out there, the Bears have demolished their last two foes by a combined 136-8 count.

&uot;We came out and played hard and scored 47 points in the first half to get it over with,&uot; Harkins said. &uot;The kids performed as if (Lakeview) was one of the teams that had beaten us in the weeks before.&uot;

The gaudy number of points aside, his team’s stringent focus on opponents for the past three weeks, dating back to a 28-27 overtime loss to Buckeye, has Harkins singing his team’s praises.

Standards are high in Jonesville since Harkins took over the program two years ago, and the Bears are striving to become a power among Class 1A.

Block’s three losses came at the hands of higher classification teams, including a narrow 18-14 loss to Vidalia and a 36-32 defeat to Jena that the Bears let get away from.

&uot;We have some respect, but there are still some doubters saying we play a weak schedule,&uot; Harkins said. &uot;I wish we could go back to the beginning right now and play Vidalia or Jena, but we got to play district now.&uot;

The diminutive, but daring Demetrius Duncan continues to lead the Bears’ Wing-T offense, accounting for 214 all-purpose yards with four consecutive touchdowns in last Friday’s win.

The two-time defending 4-1A champs are still the cream of the crop in the district with weapons, such as Duncan, quarterback Demetrius Bowie and a receiving target in Jeremy Washington.

&uot;I wish our opponents were a little better,&uot; Harkins said. &uot;I’m not saying that we can’t lose, but I don’t feel like we’re going to get any worse. I don’t feel like we’ll regress at this point in the season.&uot;

Despite the maulings over the past two weeks, Block remains on the outskirts of the top 10 polls, which is perfectly all right with Harkins.

The Bears were ranked seventh at the start of the season, but quickly fell out even though the losses were to larger schools.

&uot;Those polls put a big ‘X’ on your back,&uot; Harkins said. &uot;I’d rather it be like it is right now. We’re definitely better than teams that are there.&uot;

A trip to the Harkins’ office on a Friday night after a game will find five VCRs hooked to one another in order for each coach to get his own individual copy of that night’s game to take home and evaluate the players under his supervision.

Either Sunday or Monday, but always before the players suit up for drills, the coaches grade how every Bear performed the Friday before.

&uot;Not a lot has happened in the last few weeks where we’ve looked up and thought we’re terrible. If we correct the small things we definitely have a chance to beat anybody we get on the field with.

Vidalia at Delhi

Taking a page from the Bill Parcells’ school of thought, all is not necessarily right with Vikings head coach Dee Faircloth currently.

Sure his team continues to maintain its No. 2 state ranking and its 17-game regular season winning streak.

However, you want errors? Fairlcoth’s got a handful of facets of the game that need polishing.

&uot;We need to do a better job on our third down (defense),&uot; he said. &uot;I’ve seen it too much this year on third and 15 where the other team gets first down when we should be pouring the coals over them. That’ll make you throw up on the sideline.&uot;

If that’s not enough to make one queasy, check out the size of both offensive and defensive lines on tonight’s opponent Delhi.

&uot;(The Bears) are a huge ball club, probably bigger than Rayville,&uot; Faircloth said. &uot;You’re looking at 250, 265 (pounds) across the line. They’re pretty aggressive on defense and create a lot of confusion for you.&uot;

What Delhi lacks is a sound offense, scoring two of its touchdowns on fumble returns in the Bears’ 30-20 win over district 4-1A rival Newellton.

This is the third time the Vikings (7-0, 2-0 4-2A) have squared off against a 4-1A team, having edged Block 18-14 and steamrolling Newellton 51-12 in the season’s first two weeks, respectively.

&uot;It just depends on the kids playing hard,&uot; Faircloth said. &uot;We cannot be messing around out there. If we keep winning, we’ll keep climbing up in power ratings. That’s what matters.&uot;

Even with a signal caller as talented as Tony Hawkins under center, all Vidalia needed his services for in last Friday’s 54-20 win over McCall was to put the ball in the guts of Viking running backs.

Michael Randall’s 270 yards on 23 carries led the Vidalia charge, which racked up 526 yards on the ground.

&uot;McCall was in that deep drop zone, a pretty stationary pass defense,&uot; Faircloth said. &uot;So we just ran it at them. The offensive line blocked real well, and Michael ran the heck out of it.

&uot;We’re going to take what teams give us. If you decide to cram the box, we’ll throw it all night.&uot;

Ferriday at Lake Providence

Don’t look now, but after a un-Trojan-like beginning, Ferriday is attempting to play its way into the Class 2A wild card picture.

No question, last Friday’s obscure loss to Rayville, 25-20, was a step backward, but the Trojans feel confident in how district 4-2A teams stack up down the stretch.

&uot;It was a good to play well, but we expected to&uot; against Rayville, Ferriday head coach James McFarland said. &uot;Before the season when we looked at the second half of our schedule we felt like we could beat everybody on it. It was disappointing the way we lost.&uot;

The Trojans (2-5, 1-0 4-2A) held a 20-18 advantage with less than 11 minutes in the fourth before Ripley’s Believe it or Not showed up at Melz Field.

A Hornet punt ricochet off the Ferriday returner and landed in the sprawled out arms of a Rayville player that was laying on the ground in Ferriday territory.

Rayville used a trick play to capitalize on the bizarre scenario and shock the Trojan faithful with a 25-20 victory.

&uot;That’s what was so disheartening,&uot; McFarland said. &uot;My guys played their hearts out and left them on the field. If you’re going to lose, don’t let it be that way. But not because of some fluke or accident.&uot;

After an 18-8 district loss to Crowville last Friday, Lake Providence (0-7, 0-2 4-2A) continues to be winless.

McFarland feels lucky to have not experienced any slump that devastating. He said this year alone, &uot;for myself has been extremely tough. I’m treading new waters. When you don’t have success, it’s like a snowball effect. Everything becomes a problem.&uot;

If the Trojans can handle business tonight, McFarland could perhaps have an even bigger problem on his hands.

Trying to deflect more postseason talk.

&uot;We talk about it as a coaching staff, but we’re taking it one game at a time,&uot; he said. &uot;We can’t afford to overlook anybody. What we must guard against is complacency. We’ve been talking a lot about how important it is to take care of our own business.&uot;